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Both the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program Expert Panel Report 3 and the Global Initiative for Asthma guidelines identify achieving and maintaining asthma control as goals of therapy, and they emphasize periodic assessment of asthma control once treatment is established. Accurate assessment of asthma control is difficult due to the complexity of asthma control and due to the limitations in the traditional methods of assessment, such as lung function tests, physician assessment, and patients' self-assessment.
Relying solely on the role of lung function tests is insufficient to reflect the status of asthma control, since patients with asthma may have normal spirometry between exacerbations. Clinicians often overestimate the level of asthma control. Similarly, it is not uncommon for patients to overestimate how well their asthma is controlled, and, therefore, they under-report asthma symptoms and fail to recognize the impact that asthma has on their daily life.
As a result, several tools have been developed to quantify the level of asthma control, identify patients at risk, and evaluate the effect of asthma management. This review examines the commonly used asthma control assessment tools in terms of content, psychometric properties, methods of administration, limitations, and ability to reflect the overall status of asthma control, which can aid clinicians in selecting the most appropriate tool for their needs.
Asthma continues to be a common disease associated with high mortality and high economic and social tolls despite the advances in the understanding of the pathophysiology of asthma, the availability of effective preventive therapy, and the availability of international treatment guidelines. It is estimated that million people of all ages and diverse ethnicities suffer from asthma, and about 1 in every is estimated to die from asthma worldwide.
Most of the burden of asthma is attributed to treating patients with uncontrolled asthma. Clinician assessment, patient self-assessment, and minimal invasive markers, such as spirometry and fractional exhaled nitric oxide F ENO , are the established methods for monitoring asthma. Several standardized self-administered asthma control assessment tools have been developed to quantify the level of asthma control.